Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rose Hip Jelly

Yesterday morning, I found myself on a lovely beach. I'd just come off of my overnight shift, and I was tired. The weather was perfect. Just warm enough, a light breeze, sunny, not humid at all. I grew up on the water and, when I encounter a day like yesterday, I remember how much I miss it.

But, as usual, I was there with a purpose! The Chair of our department lives a few blocks from that beach and had been keeping an eye on the rose hips for me. Last week he said I'd better get over there to pick them if I was going to. He even let me park in his driveway, lest I get a ticket for being a nonresident. The recipe I was using called for 4 quarts of hips; I packed 2 half-gallon pitchers in a backpack and brought them with me. I had them filled within a half an hour.

Here's the recipe, in case that website ever goes away:
4 quarts rose hips
2 quarts water
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups sugar

Clean the hips, remove the blossom ends and, if you're really inspired (I wasn't), remove the seeds. Boil them with the water, mashing them when they are softer. Strain the juice, and use 4 cups for the jelly. Add the lemon juice and pectin, bring to a boil. When it is boiling, add the sugar all at once, and return to a hard boil for 1 minute. I ended up with well over 6 cups. It's a reddish orange and tastes citrusy, but not really orangy. I have seen it described as like tangerine or hibiscus. I don't really think it's either of those. It's a taste all it's own. But it's very, very good.

2 comments:

  1. I love how now you've got your boss scouting out wild plants for you. I hope you're giving him at least one jar.

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  2. Of course! He also got some of the half-sours, since they were his idea.

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